What did Sophie offer the Tiger to eat? What did he end up eating? How do you think she felt when he arrived? How was Sophie hospitable to the tiger? Do you ever have guests at your house? What do you offer guests when they come over? What types of special treats do you have when guests come over?
Abraham, rather than waiting for visitors, went out looking for guests, when he found them he would invite them into his home. Somebody who wasn’t used to eating wheat bread, he would feed him wheat bread; someone who wasn’t used to eating meat, he would feed meat; someone who wasn’t used to drinking wine, he gave wine to drink. Not only that, but he also stood and built big palaces on the roads, and left food and drink in them, and whoever came and entered, would eat and drink and bless the Heavens and so he was satisfied (happy). And whatever anybody might ask for was to be found in Abraham’s house. Avot d’Rabbi Natan 7
What is Chanukah? The Rabbis have expounded: Beginning with the 25 th of Kislev, eight days of Chanukah are observed, during which no eulogies are delivered, nor is fasting permitted. For when the Greeks entered the Sanctuary, they defiled all the holy oils used for the Menorah in the temple, and when the Hasmonean house prevailed and vanquished them, they searched and found only one remaining jar of oil with the Kohen Gadol’s seal. Although it contained only enough oil to burn for one day, a miracle occurred, and the oil burned for eight days. A year later they (the Rabbis designated these days as Yamim Tovim (holidays) on which praise and thanksgiving were to be said. Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Shabbat, 21b
The oil of the menorah provided the symbol of God’s existence in the temple. We have a commitment to bring God into our lives every day by caring for the world that God gave us to look after. We can do this by conserving energy at school and at home.
The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to Israel, “even if you find it full of all good things, you will not say, “let’s settle and not plant”, but be careful in planting, as it said, “and you will plant all manner of tree for food”. As when you entered [the land] you found trees planted by others, so you will plant for your children so that a man will not say, “I am an old man and might die the following day, so why should I toil for others…?” Therefore, a man should not desist from planting but as he found [the land], he should add [more trees] and plant, even an old man”. Midrash Tanchuma, Kedoshim This midrash recalls our duty to be committed to investing in the future by planting and caring for the environment.
I shall bring you an example of what this resembles. It is like a man, who wanders in the desert, weak with hunger, exhaustion and thirst, and finds a tree with sweet fruits and shady leaves, beneath which is a source of water. He eats the fruit, drinks the water and rests in he shade. When it comes time to leave, he thinks: “O, tree, how shall I than you? If I say ‘May your fruit be sweet’ – they are already sweet; shall I say ‘May your shade be beautiful?’ – it is so; or, ‘That the water supply passes beneath you’ – they already have the water. So I shall say, ‘May everything which comes from you resemble you.’” Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Ta’anit, 5b
He used to say: One whose wisdom exceeds his deeds, to what may he be compared? To a tree whose branches are many but whose roots are few, so that when a wind comes, it uproots it and overturns it; as it is said ( Jeremiah 17:6): He shall be like a lonely tree in the desert; when good comes he will not see it; he will dwell in the parched places of the desert in a salt land that is not inhabited. However, one whose deeds exceed his wisdom, to what may he be compared? To a tree whose branches are few but whose roots are many; so that even if all the winds in the world come and blow against it, they can not move it from its place; as it is said (Jeremiah 17:8): He shall be like a tree planted by waters, that sends out its roots by a stream and does not notice when the heat comes; its leaves are ever green; in a year of drought it is not troubled and never fails to bear fruit. Mishnah, Tractate Avot 3:17
We are learning: to sequence a story to understand how much we need trees and what they can provide us with to appreciate and consider our relationships as carers of the world that God gave us the world to look after and therefore we have a duty to protect nature today and for the future.
It is better for a person to increase gifts to the poor than to increase his feast or the Mishloach Manot (gifts of food) to his neighbours. There is no joy greater or more rewarding than to gladden the heart of the poor, orphans, widows and strangers. For by gladdening the hearts of the downtrodden, we are following the example of the Divine. Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Megillah, 2:17
The basic reasons for international trade are: 1.Different countries/areas have different abilities to produce different goods. Africa, for example, is well suited to producing tea and coffee. 2. Different countries have different consumption needs. International trade spreads money and goods around the globe, though, in its current form, very unevenly. Every day we see the scale of international trade by looking at who makes, for example, our alarm clock, or the shirt we put on in the morning, or the fruit or hot drink we have for breakfast. Our everyday lives are inseparable from the lives of others. The livelihoods of others may be affected by the way these goods are produced and paid for.
What was Handa taking to Akeyo? Why was Handa taking fruits to Akeyo? How did Handa take the fruits to Akeyo? What does it feel like to get a gift? What kind of gifts have you received before? What was special about getting them? What does it feel like to give a gift? How does it make you feel? Why do we give food gifts to people on Purim?
At Pesach we remember our oppression in Egypt and our liberation from slavery. However, Pesach is not intended to be a historical commemoration. In the Hagaddah we read that:
The seder¹ service and rituals aim to remind us of the feeling of being a slave. We eat the bitterness of the maror (bitter herbs) and eat matza, which is called the “bread of poverty and liberation”, in order to have a small taste of the experience of suffering and liberation. ¹ Seder: literally “order”. Name given to the ceremony conducted on Pesach, which includes the telling of the story of liberation from slavery, as well as various rituals designed to create empathy for the process of liberation.
³Haggadah: literally “the telling”. Name given to the book used as a guide for the Pesach seder.
Why is this night different from all other nights? On all other nights during the year we eat either bread or matzah, but on this night we eat only matzah? On all other nights we eat all kinds of herbs, but on this night we eat only bitter herbs? On all other nights we do not dip our herbs even once, but on this night we dip them twice? On all other nights we eat either sitting or reclining but on this night we eat in a reclining position? Mah Nishtana, from the Pesach Haggadah